In its effort to add value to mushroom and ginger production, the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), has organised a training for youths and women on Ginger and Mushroom Value Chains.
The training which is aimed at harnessing the potentials of the commodities for sustainable livelihood and national economic development, brought together unemployed youths and women in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The Executive Director, NIHORT, Abayomi Olaniyan while addressing the trainees on Wednesday, said improved production techniques and value addition must be taken seriously to attract sustainable levels of investment and stakeholders’ interest in ginger and mushroom production.
While noting that improved production techniques and value addition are pertinent, Olaniyan said it would contribute to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the present administration.
His words: “Mushroom production is capable of boosting food production and improve foreign exchange earnings for the country, while ginger is another cash crop of note that serves as an important source of raw material and one of the most commercial rewarding crops grown in all parts of our country.
On mushroom, he explained that cultivation can help reduce vulnerability to poverty and strengthens livelihoods through the generation of a fast yielding and nutritious source of food and a reliable source of income.
He further explained that mushroom cultivation would provide opportunities for improving the sustainability of small farming systems through the recycling of organic matter.
Speaking on ginger, the NIHORT boss said the commodity have a wide range of applications in many industries like food processing, pharmaceutical, soft drinks, meat canning, confectionery, tobacco processing, soap making and so on.
He explained “Ginger can be processed into a wide variety of products such as ginger powder, ginger oil, oleoresins and other items. There are a lot of opportunities in the ginger value chain from planting to processing, exporting, logistics, extracting and a whole lot of activities. The market for ginger especially the overseas market in Asia and Europe is large, expanding and sustainable because of the numerous uses of
He expressed the readiness of the Institute to make available the varieties of expertise when the need arises.
One of the trainees, Sangotayo Olajumoke expressed hope that the training would provide her with the requisite knowledge to start ginger processing.
“The training is about production of mushroom and ginger. Before now, I have not had any interest in agriculture, but there is something this one that picked my interest, and my expectation from this training is that i will be able to use everything that i have learnt or that i will learn to earn a living.
“It is not all about getting degree, there is no employment everywhere, so we need to have other sources of income, I believe that with this training, I will be able to use the knowledge to establish myself.
“I have particular in interest in ginger, hopefully, after now, I will be able to set up my own business on ginger processing specifically”, she said.
Earlier, the Chairman NIHORT Governing Board, Major General Garba Mohammed (RTD), said the training was put together for employment creation and economic empowerment